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Kansas Jayhawk Basketball in Italy: A summer (semi) statistical recap of Players Group

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NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Kansas Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas finished off its second of four games in Italy with another win, 92-61, this time against HSC Roma Players Group.

Players Group featured some actual professionals, and even though they were a bit younger than the roster KU expected to show up, still featured some talent. The Jayhawks responded by ratcheting up the defensive intensity, holding Players Group to just 61 points. Kansas also had a much easier job scoring, shooting 59 percent on twos and 38 percent on threes. Kansas also took 40 percent of its shots from three, which is about exactly as many as they want to take (more on that later I’m sure).

  • Marcus Garrett led the team in both offensive rebounds with 5 and defensive rebounds with 7. He also was 3-4 on twos. He also forced a handful of turnovers. Once he gets his jumper figured out he’s going to be great.
  • Lagerald Vick had a much better game, going 2-5 from three and forcing some fouls with his athletic ability. I also thought he was much more engaged defensively.
  • Sam Cunliffe had another rough outing, missing all three of his shots and getting lost on defense some more. I was critical of him on twitter, but I think it’s worth noting we are probably all overreacting because it’s the first two games he’s played (and remember, he hasn’t played since semester break last year). If he plays well and then has two stinkers in late January, we probably won’t think anything of it.
  • Devonte Graham was great again, going 1-2 on twos, 2-4 from three, and pitching in 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
  • Charlie Moore might have been the best non Graham player on the floor, going 3-4 on twos and 2-4 from three, as well as several nice passes. He only finished with 2 assists, but again that’s due more to his teammates missing some open shots.
  • Svi Mykhailiuk missed both his twos but was 3-4 from three.
  • Chris Teahan again missed his only shot.
  • KJ Lawson played some center, and it worked well both on offense and defense, thanks to his versatility. He was 1-1 from both two and three, and also had 7 rebounds.
  • Malik Newman made half his twos, but missed all of his threes. He did have 5 rebounds and 4 assists, however, which again helps cure some of my concerns that his value will be constrained only to his shooting ability.
  • Clay Young almost posted a trillion, but ruined it by grabbing a rebound.
  • Billy Preston got just over 10 minutes thanks to his knee bothering him a bit. He was just 1-2 from the field and had a couple of defensive lapses.
  • Udoka Azubuike threw one off the backboard to himself, and finished with 7 dunks. He probably should have rebounded a bit better, however.
  • Mitch Lightfoot was 3-6 from the field and seems to have cured his aggression issue a bit, despite the mask.